Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘Economist’

From fugitive to taxpayer

Posted by hkarner - 22. April 2018

Date: 21-04-2018
Source: The Economist

European countries should make it easier for refugees to work
It eases the fiscal burden without hurting locals’ prospects

MOUHANAD SALHA would like nothing better than to work. But since arriving in the Netherlands in late 2014, he has managed to do so for just one week. Like more than 80% of Syrian refugees in Europe, he is unemployed.

He was studying information technology when he fled Syria in 2012, and worked as an apprentice electrician in Lebanon, where “you can just go in and fix everything.” Not so in the Netherlands. Becoming an electrician requires elaborate certification, and jobs usually need proficiency in Dutch. Such rules, intended to shield native workers, deter asylum-seekers from looking for jobs. Refugees who do find work lose their government-paid benefits.

Asylum-seekers in the Netherlands are housed in government-run centres and not allowed to work until six months after they arrive. If they then find a job, the government withholds 75% of their wages to cover room and board. (Unsurprisingly, few do.) Once granted refugee status, as Mr Salha was last year, they are moved out into subsidised housing. Mr Salha registered with a temporary-job agency, but the local government told him working would mean losing housing and other subsidies. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Dismantling Deutsche Bank- Should one of the world’s largest banks be wound down?

Posted by hkarner - 22. April 2018

This article is absolutely essential for a deeper understanding of DB and the German Banking System! (hfk)

Date: 19-04-2018
Source: The Economist

The danger is that Deutsche staggers on, cloaked in German patriotism

DEUTSCHE BANK is one of the financial industry’s hardest problems. It is not a viable business when judged by any sensible yardstick, because it is unable to make enough profits to generate a remotely adequate return. Its existence does not seem to be in the public interest, since it is dominated by an investment bank that has paid its lucky staff a colossal €40bn ($49bn) over the past decade. The bank’s governance has misfired for ages. On April 8th Deutsche fired John Cryan, its chief executive, in the third regime change in seven years. If the rules of capitalism apply to banks, Deutsche should be wound down. Is that possible?

Deutsche was founded in 1870 to help German companies go abroad. In 1999 it bought Bankers Trust, a Wall Street firm, and went on a long expansion in the investment-banking business. Today it has four elements. A decent asset-management operation called DWS; a profitable payments business that ships money around the world for companies; a mediocre German retail bank that uses the Postbank and Deutsche brands; and a faltering global investment bank that soaks up half of the bank’s capital. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Emmanuel Macron’s ambitious plans for Europe are running aground

Posted by hkarner - 22. April 2018

Date: 19-04-2018
Source: The Economist: Charlemagne

The EU is neither optimistic enough nor panicked enough for big new projects

WHEN France’s president speaks about Europe, his remarks are directed in part at Germany. Before his election in 2017 Emmanuel Macron went to great lengths to show Angela Merkel that he could be a credible partner. He lauded her leadership on refugees and Russia, took the fight to populists, and promised to tackle France’s economic rigidities, all wrapped in a European Union flag. The Elysée Treaty of 1963, the basis for Franco-German co-operation, would be given a fresh lick of paint. For years visitors to Berlin had grown familiar with weary complaints about unreformable France. Now the Germans seemed to have what they had long claimed to be waiting for. If Mr Macron had not come along, perhaps Germany would have had to invent him.

Mr Macron has always argued that his domestic plans cannot be isolated from his European ambitions. So this week, as transport strikes and university sit-ins roiled his country, he took his calls for EU reform to the European Parliament in Strasbourg. France’s Jupiterian president loves a good scrap, and it showed. Mr Macron sparred with MEPs from across the spectrum, passionately defending his decision to attack weapons sites in Syria, and reserving particular venom for a former ally of Marine Le Pen, the nationalist leader he bested last year. Mr Macron issued his customary battle-cry against illiberal populists and European naysayers—but also tried to dispel what seems to him to be a whiff of complacency.We can’t carry on as if this is any old debate,” he said, adding that he did not want to belong “to a generation of sleepwalkers”. As he knows, the warnings in Christopher Clark’s book of the same name, which charts the diplomatic missteps that led to the first world war, resonate with Mrs Merkel. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Economists still lack a proper understanding of business cycles

Posted by hkarner - 22. April 2018

Date: 21-04-2018
Source: The Economist: Free exchange
Subject: Diminished expectations

The second in our series on the shortcomings of the economics profession

THE aftermath of the 2007-08 financial crisis ought to have been a moment of triumph for economics. Lessons learned from the 1930s prevented the collapse of global finance and trade, and resulted in a downturn far shorter and less severe than the Depression. But even as the policy remedies were helpful, the crisis exposed the economic profession’s continued ignorance of the business cycle. That is bad news not just for the discipline, but for everyone.

The aim of those studying the macroeconomy has always been to understand the economy’s wobbles, and to work out when governments should intervene. That is not easy. Downturns come often enough to be a serious irritant, but not often enough to give economists sufficient data for rigorous statistical analysis. It is hard to distinguish between short-run swings and structural economic changes resulting from demography or technology. Most classical economists were sceptical of the idea that the macroeconomy needed much oversight at all. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Change of state

Posted by hkarner - 21. April 2018

Date: 19-04-2018
Source: The Economist

Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party is doing lasting damage
Once hollowed out, the rule of law is hard to restore

FOR a glimpse of Poland under the populist Law and Justice (PiS) party, tune in to the news on the state television channel, Telewizja Polska (TVP). The opening sequence, a computer-animated tour of Polish landmarks, homes in on the clock tower of Warsaw’s royal castle. The capital’s most recognisable building, the towering Soviet-era Palace of Culture and Science, is nowhere to be seen. Then the anchors appear, and proceed to praise PiS slavishly while branding its critics treacherous crypto-communists.

This combination of subtle and brazen nationalist revisionism captures the two-and-a-half years of PiS rule. The party has purged the public administration, made it illegal to accuse the “Polish nation” of complicity in the Holocaust, and peddled conspiracy theories about the aeroplane crash in 2010 which killed then-president Lech Kaczynski and 95 others outside Smolensk, in Russia. It has turned a blind eye to chauvinism among its supporters, while prosecuting peaceful counter-protesters at the monthly commemorations of the Smolensk disaster led by Lech’s twin brother, Jaroslaw (pictured), who is PiS’s chairman. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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How the elephant got its Trump

Posted by hkarner - 21. April 2018

Date: 19-04-2018
Source: The Economist

The president’s takeover of his party won’t soon be undone
It will not easily be undone

“NEVER has a party abandoned, fled its principles and deeply held beliefs so quickly as my party did in the face of the nativist juggernaut,” Jeff Flake, a Republican senator from Arizona, said in a speech in March. “We have become strangers to ourselves.” There is a lot of truth in this. The speed with which the Republican Party’s establishment accommodated itself to a candidate, and then a president, who spurned all manner of norms and broke many bounds of decency, as well as policy commitments, was indeed without any precedent.

Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House, went from refusing to campaign with Donald Trump (after a recording of him boasting about sexual assault became public) to failing quickly to condemn him (when, as president, he spoke of “very fine people on both sides” of confrontations between neo-Nazis and protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia). It now appears that Mr Ryan cannot stomach his position—or, alternatively, that he thinks the voters will not provide the Republican House majority he would need to continue in it after this November’s mid-term elections. On April 11th he announced that he will not seek re-election. Like Mr Flake himself, and Bob Corker, a senator who memorably compared Mr Trump’s White House to an “adult day-care centre”, not to mention 40 other House Republicans—a record—he is leaving the field of battle. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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To converge or diverge? After Brexit, that is the question

Posted by hkarner - 15. April 2018

Date: 14-04-2018
Source: The Economist

Most businesses prefer convergence with EU rules—with a few exceptions

TEARING up red tape has long been a dream for those who want to leave the European Union. The belief that business is stifled by Brussels bureaucracy is powerful. Yet ask those subject to the rules and you get a different picture. A new report from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), based on interviews with thousands of the business lobby’s members, small and large, finds that in areas ranging from aerospace and energy to life sciences and telecoms there is no great wish for a bonfire of European regulations. Instead, as Carolyn Fairbairn, the CBI’s boss, puts it, the opportunities for divergence in a few areas are “vastly outweighed” by the costs of deviating from rules needed to ensure smooth access to the EU market.

These days regulations and standards matter more than tariffs for frictionless trade. That is why companies that trade with the EU, by far Britain’s biggest market, fret about the erection of non-tariff barriers. And it is not only big exporters that are concerned. EU regulations affect their supply chains, right down to the smallest firms, as well as seemingly unrelated sectors. The CBI report makes clear, for example, that compliance with the EU’s REACH chemicals regime and data-protection standards is crucial for carmakers and consumer-goods firms alike.

A second finding is that most firms like the predictability of EU rules. The report calls the EU’s single market, based on some 19,000 legislative acts, the world’s most sophisticated rulemaking entity. That is why many EU standards are becoming global ones. What British firms fear is having to comply with a second set of domestic regulations as well. It would be difficult and expensive to replicate the EU’s regulators for airlines, medicines, food standards, nuclear safety and so on. That is one reason why Theresa May’s government hopes to be able to stay in many such agencies. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Social democracy is floundering everywhere in Europe, except Portugal

Posted by hkarner - 14. April 2018

Date: 12-04-2018
Source: The Economist: Charlemagne

A small miracle on the Atlantic

ANTONIO COSTA, Portugal’s affable prime minister, greets your columnist with a broad grin as he settles his hefty frame into a sofa in his official residence. He has a lot to smile about. Lisbon, among Europe’s hottest tourist destinations, is enjoying a mini startup boom. Portugal’s footballers are the European champions, and its politicians have nabbed a clutch of senior international jobs. And above all, he is the winner of a high-stakes political gamble.

When Mr Costa’s Socialist Party lost an election in 2015 to the centre-right (and confusingly named) Social Democrats, who had overseen a harsh EU-imposed austerity programme during a three-year €78bn ($107bn) bail-out, most observers expected the Socialists to prop them up in a left-right “grand coalition” of the sort now common across Europe. Instead Mr Costa, the son of a communist intellectual from Goa, Portugal’s old colony in India, convinced two hard-left parties—the old-school Communists and the modish Left Bloc—to support a minority Socialist government in exchange for modest policy concessions.
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Where does Germany go from here?

Posted by hkarner - 14. April 2018

Date: 12-04-2018
Source: The Economist

German politics has become too quiet. It needs more democratic rough-and-tumble

JOHN KORNBLUM, A former American ambassador to Berlin, reckons that post-war German history has moved broadly in cycles of 20 to 30 years. The first started with the birth of West Germany’s federal republic in 1949. The second began with the “1968 generation” of young progressives who asked difficult questions about the country’s past and took on its conservative establishment. The third commenced with reunification in 1990 and continued with the election of the Social Democrat-Green government in 1998. With the end of Angela Merkel’s era on the horizon (she is not expected to run again in 2021), that third period is now drawing to a close.

Her legacy may turn out to be the completion of the “red-green” project. Gerhard Schröder, her SPD predecessor, pushed through painful economic reforms and initiated a relaxation of social mores after the stuffy years of Chancellor Helmut Kohl. Mr Schröder’s government opened citizenship to immigrants without German roots. It also broke a pacifist taboo with Germany’s first military engagement since the second world war, in Kosovo. Its slogan was “for a modern Germany”. That required persuasion and argument. Joschka Fischer, Mr Schröder’s foreign minister, a Green, made the case for the Kosovo intervention to heckling at his party’s conference in 1999. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The departure of the VW boss heralds a big shake-up

Posted by hkarner - 14. April 2018

Date: 12-04-2018
Source: The Economist

The carmaker has recovered from dieselgate, but investors want more cost-cutting

MOST chief executives relish a jump in their company’s share price. But spare a thought for Volkswagen’s Matthias Müller as he watched the gauge of value leap by 4.5% on April 10th. That was galling because investors were responding to rumours, in effect promptly confirmed by VW’s board, that he was to depart this week after less than three years as head of one of the world’s top three carmakers.

The pensive Mr Müller, 64, rarely had the air of a man enjoying the limelight. His contract ran until 2020, but he had become increasingly frustrated at internal opposition to his efforts to change the way the company was run in the aftermath of “dieselgate”, a crisis sparked by VW’s rigging of car-emissions tests. To an outsider, changes such as more decentralisation and the sale of peripheral businesses hardly seemed controversial. But they were too much for some. He may be happy to go; the board referred to his “general willingness” to accept the pending management shake-up. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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